The Olympic trials are wrapping up (Go Ashton Eaton!), and we’re all set for another year of the games. We are all set, right London? Nothing you need to tell us? Great.
The Olympics, of course, have changed a lot since their noble beginnings. Initially, the idea was to take warfare and place it in a non-lethal arena. Instead of actually hurling stones and spears at each other, you send your best guy, I’ll send mind; they hurl shotputs, javelins, and discuses (disci?), see who wins, go have beer, no one’s dead. A truly great idea.
Then, of course you add running (logical), high jump (a bit of a stretch, but okay), hurdles (Huh? What kind of weird war was this?), and soon you’ve got solo synchronized swimming on your hands. Some of the weirder events?
Tug-of-war (all the excitement of grade-school gym class but with national pride on the line)
Painting (“Aaaaaand here comes Norway with a splash of lavender to accentuate the sunset! He’s coming up on Brazil, but Brazil is – WHOA – look at that texture Brazil is adding to the foliage on that hillside scene! I don’t think anyone can catch Brazil at this point…!”)
Swimming obstacle race (please let the obstacles be bears; please let the obstacles be bears; please let the obstacles be bears)
and Mud Fighting (an event created – this is true – so that “primitive” countries could come to the Olympics. And people think The West is condescending. “Hey, Patagonia! Nice to see you! Of course we want you here! Look at your little outfits. We even made a special little area for you to compete in. In addition to Mud Fighting we’ve got events for you like Feces-Smearing, Counting To 8, Not Drowning in A Rainstorm, and Competitive Dying of Easily Treatable Diseases! You have fun, and keep at it!”)
But, alas, these events didn’t last.
So, with that in mind – the origins of replicating competition of real day to day life, and trying to reward very specific skillsets – what would simulate these things now? For your Weekly Question of the Week: What summer Olympic event would you like to see created? Would it beat the heat? Simulate modern war or business? Focus on a really specific skillset? Winter’s got Curling to up the “Seriously?” factor, but what would give Summer a little awesomeness?